DIY Art Therapy: My Journey Begins

Tie dye with fresh turmeric root naturopathic control artistic creativity for healing
There is no panacea to heal all of life's woes once and for all. Instead, healing that is sustainable is possible when its elements weave through in as many conceivable aspects of 'ordinary', everyday life. Perhaps learning this is the path to man's sustainable wellness. In my quest for this, I have begun to 'weave' artistic creativity back into my life. The need I suddenly felt for creativity was like thirst for water. I had not actively pursued craft since childhood. So I have been (re)learning to make crafts using techniques for tie dye, papier maché, Kumihimo weaving, upcycling materials to make tropical Christmas trees and biodegradable jumbo drinking straws. Having felt a bit off kilter of late, I could honestly say that my crafting experiences feel therapeutic.
Biodegradable Jumbo Straws. Another use for my pawpaw plant. It's a single element with multiple functions (Permaculture)
So I decided to share this part of my journey with you.
Night before last, I attended my Kumihimo braiding class. At one point, I took mental inventory. I was pleasantly surprised that something repetitive was actually pleasant. Our student group was made of 5 women. We quietly wove our Kumihimo braids around a table. Every now and then, someone squealed with excitement over the ensuing pattern. The others looked her way and offered feedback. When my neighbor's kumihimo braid went awry, the soft chatter over the solution also connected us.
DIY art therapy: how to make a kumihimo braid with Naturopathic Control
A Kumihimo braid (that will make a necklace). See how to make a Kumihimo braid.

I thought for a moment, 'perhaps the simplicity of such moments is what people need'. Although we had entered the room as erstwhile strangers who barely made eye contact, something changed at a subtle level. The quiet moments, altered only by the constant movement of our hands, gave us the opportunity to bond. Not surprisingly, we left the room chatting with a childish eagerness that we masked with casual-sounding 'oaths' to continue at home. Now, I look forward to our next class with such eagerness. What makes us pay $45 for a 2-session class to do what we already know exists freely on Youtube? I think it is because, in the flesh, a little magick happens. Once the class is done, I will in turn teach a friend how to make the Kumihimo braid so that we may continue.

The next day (yesterday), I pushed my quest up a notch when I visited that same friend to start our weekly crafting meetings with a tie dying project. Woohoo! This woman's spirit is such that I immediately remembered her when I heard of a book named 'Women who Run with the Wolves'. She lives in a small and very homely wooden house that is tucked away in a quiet and verdant countryside with an ocean view. Although she agreed with me that her space felt great, she quickly clarified that 'here is still not bush enough for me'. I smile. Need I explain why I've decided to visit her ... or should I say, to run with her? 
Tie dying was her idea because she had come by a heaping pile of fresh turmeric root. I had already known of turmeric, but only in the form of commercial turmeric powder. As she grated the root, it released such a potent fragrance that even intensified when it was finally in the pot. I will never see turmeric as I had before yesterday. I feel as though I have finally met a lady named Turmeric. You know, as though the powder I had loved and used for years was tantamount to only seeing someone's photo. Now, I knew her through sight, taste, smell and touch. If you let me gush further, I'd explain how I could close my eyes and visualize how, rising swiftly from the steam, I 'heard' her spirit leaping against the blue wooden kitchen walls round and about our bodies. She moved like a wild bush woman. What would I have seen if I had observed her etherically rising up through the steam? But does that matter? I would have already known her essence within a fraction of a second.

Tie dying with turmeric as natural fabric dye for DIY art therapy
Tie dying with turmeric as a natural fabric dye. See the process and more photos.
women who run with wolves tie dye with turmeric root naturopathic control
Tie dying with turmeric as a natural fabric dye. See the process and more photos.

Turmeric was so bold and intense. She dove deep into the bowl of water, spreading herself like a skirt until the liquid was thick and opaque. At first, she seemed muddy brown under the dim kitchen light. However, each time we rose the spoon out of the bowl, she would quickly slick herself over that once forgotten, lack lustre aluminium object, thereby transforming it into golden sunshine through the reflection of the exposed kitchen light bulb. And what a cajoling spirit! Hmm! Why did I suddenly feel like eating, of all things, curry?! Then, to my friend's amusement, I also mistook Miss Turmeric for my friend's cooking.

women who run with wolves tie dye with turmeric root naturopathic control

women who run with wolves tie dye with turmeric root naturopathic control
I look down and grin at my yellow finger tips. I brought some of her roots home with me and invited her into my curry breakfast. You see, my friend and I had agreed against gloves. I have no plans of changing that.

You can look forward to my entries  about our weekly crafting adventures at my friend's house.
You are welcome to comment below about your personal art therapy journey, whether or not DIY. Better yet, also leave a link to your webpage about DIY art therapy. I also welcome links back to my page with the relevant craft.
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